More than just a streaming site, Soundcloud is a music-centric social network that helps to humanize the artist and focus on what’s important: the music.
There are a lot of articles out there telling you the best way to make Soundcloud work for your band. That’s good information, but what I noticed in my research is that there aren’t many articles that tell you what it means for you band. And here’s the thing – Soundcloud is one of the single most immersive music sharing tools out there, and if you know how to use it properly, it can help open up new doors for your band and your music industry career as a whole.
First of all, I think it’s important to determine what Soundcloud provides as opposed to its main competitors, Bandcamp and Spotify. What makes Soundcloud special is that it is, by its very nature, a very interactive platform. While Bandcamp has a solid comment system, there is something special to the real time feedback that Soundcloud offers. Furthermore, though the advertisements are increasingly frequent, the free tier of Soundcloud access is still pretty darn appealing to the common user. Soundcloud makes private streams practical and convenient to set up.
Beyond that, Soundcloud is special because all of its features allow it to create a very intimate sense of partnership with your listener. Everyone knows you need to create a personal bond with your fans, and Soundcloud does exactly that. Soundcloud is important because it provides a tiered system that opens up multiple levels of dialogue, from allowing you to tell your favorite group what you think of their latest demo, to letting some 12 year old who discovered your music on the Internet tell you how much your band sucks. You have to take the good with the bad, and then come to realize that Soundcloud isn’t really a streaming service at all – it’s more of a music-centric social network.
More than any other service available, Soundcloud emphasizes a sense of communication with artists and between artists. With that in mind, you need to be aware of this when setting up your Soundcloud page and considering how you are going to use it. If you treat your Soundcloud presense like you do your Facebook artist page – with frequent updates, lots of content, and links to your other sites – then fans have the potential to explore appreciate your work even more and dig deeper in to what you have to offer.
While there are strategies that will allow your Soundcloud promotion and user base to grow, you should consider that Soundcloud is essentially the music world’s most dynamic social network. And in an ever changing social media landscape, Soundcloud has been gaining ground. Every new feature is only helping to further cement its place in the music industry ecosystem.
Somewhere in the last couple of years, Soundcloud has established itself as a music industry juggernaut, offering a little bit of something for everyone, and instead of raising the artists on a pedestal, Soundcloud humanizes them while sharing the music that makes them great. Beyond that, Soundcloud seems content to limit itself to its strengths, which further establishes its place in a crowded streaming market. And as a result, its influence – and market share – is only growing.
So, back to the initial question – what does Soundcloud mean for your band? Well – maybe it means there is a whole lot more to this streaming thing than most of us initially realized. It also means there’s a whole new social network out there that you should exploit. It’s fascinating, beautifully designed, and specifically set up for fans to discover obscure and exciting new acts.
There’s a lot to love about Soundcloud, and if you’re not taking advantage of it, you’re missing out on potential to reach new fans and provide valuable access to the ones you already have.
Matt Bacon is the lead columnist for Independent Music Promotions, we would love to work with you! Matt also manages heavy metal bands, works for labels, and is a prolific freelance writer. Get in touch with him at Matt@independentmusicpromotions.com.
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One of the best features of Souncloud, in my opinion, is the copyright policy. Upload something of someone else’s to Soundcloud then boom~ your track is not allowed. I think they control this aspect even better than YouTube.